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Drinking Alcohol, should a Christian do it?

Discussion in 'Seventh-day Adventist Church DIR' started by reddogs, Mar 15, 2010.

  1. reddogs

    reddogs Active Member

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    Some people say doesn't the Bible refer in a number of places to wine and strong drink, but what does it say? Don't we quite often find people drinking alcohol in the Bible? Can't we assume, then, that Scripture generally does not condemn drinking alcoholic beverages?
    It's true that we often find people drinking alcohol in the Bible and that Scripture speaks of alcoholic beverages, but we need to be careful not to read too much into a superficial look at such texts. When our English Old Testaments refer to alcohol, they generally use the words wine or strong drink. Since the process of distilling alcohol did not develop until around A.D. 500, the strongest alcoholic beverage people could make in Bible times contained only 14 percent alcohol by volume, approximately the maximum produced by natural fermentation. This fact tells us that the scriptural term strong drink certainly gives us no license to drink what we know today as hard liquor.

    And what view does the Bible take of this beverage? A very dim and negative view indeed. Of 21 Old Testament texts that mention shekar (beer), 19 strongly condemn it. The other two texts present special cases (we'll discuss one of these later). The New Testament mentions this same beverage only once and prohibits its use by John the Baptist as he grew up.
    To give something of the picture these 19 Old Testament texts convey, let's look at what some of them say about shekar: Leviticus 10:9 prohibits its use by a priest in ministry; Numbers 6:2, 3 forbids Nazarites from drinking it; in Judges 13:3, 4 an angel warns Samson's mother-to-be not to drink it during her pregnancy; in Deuteronomy 29:5, 6 God tells the Israelites that He did not provide this drink for them in their wilderness wanderings.
    There is also the interesting story of Hannah. She went to the tabernacle at Shiloh and prayed so earnestly about the fact that she was childless that the priest accused her of being drunk with shekar. This she denied. See 1 Samuel 1:15. Thus we see an almost universal condemnation of beer in the Old Testament.

    When we turn to the subject of wine in the Scriptures, we find two main words-tirosh which usually refers to grape juice in its unfermented state, the way it comes from the press as a new agricultural product, and yayin, a word with less clear meanings.
    In 30 of the 38 references to tirosh in the Old Testament it is paired with grain and oil, or oil alone, as products of the harvest used for tithe and taxes, etc. Three texts (Mic 6:15; Isa 62:8; 65:8) refer to tirosh as the product of the grape; four texts (Prov 3:10; Joel 2:24; Mic 6:15; and Hos 9:2) speak of tirosh as produced by pressing. Only one text (Hos 4:11) suggests that tirosh may produce intoxication-and this text may actually be referring to early fermentation or to the practice of mixing new and old (fermented) wine.
    How then should we personally relate to alcohol in view of the overall picture given in the Old Testament and New Testament? If one honestly takes the whole picture into account and evaluates all the evidence, what is the most reasonable conclusion......
     
  2. Mestemia

    Mestemia Advocatus Diaboli
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    That to lightly partake in wine on occasion is permitted whilst getting drunk is not.
     
  3. Oberon

    Oberon Well-Known Member

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    Everything is ok with enough vodka.
     
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